When people receive a shot from a healthcare professional, they assume it will be given in a safe and correct manner. However, based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and the Health Resources and Services Administration, there is a possibility half of all flu shots given over the past several years may have been given incorrectly, resulting in SIRVA, which stands for shoulder injury resulting from vaccine administration. However, due to the large number of federal vaccine cases, there is still much investigating that needs to be done before a final decision can be rendered.
How Did SIRVA Occur?
According to the CDC, the injuries that allegedly occurred from the shots were the result of the vaccine being given too high on the arms of patients. As a result, the most common vaccine injury from shots involves injury to the upper arm muscles. When this happens, patients have reported having lingering bouts of excruciating pain, along with the inability to do such tasks as put on a seatbelt, work at a computer keyboard, or hold a newborn baby. And for many patients, it takes visits to several doctors before a correct diagnosis is made. As a result, many have found themselves visiting orthopedic specialists and other doctors, or going through physical therapy regimens, which have often worsened the condition.
More Common Than Realized
According to experts from George Washington University’s Vaccine Injury Law Clinic, this problem is much more common than people realize. In fact, it has become so common that these injuries are now covered under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. A nearly $4 billion trust fund created and coordinated by the U.S. federal government, it provides settlements to victims and their families who suffer catastrophic reactions to vaccines. Because the federal government considers vaccines to be pharmaceuticals, it is expected that a certain percentage of people will have adverse reactions once they have been administered. Thus, the government chose to take on the responsibility of liability for the drug companies more than 30 years ago, in an effort to protect the companies and encourage them to continue developing and producing vaccines.
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
A little-known court to most people, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims handles all lawsuits pertaining to vaccines. However, the burden of proof is different in these cases than in normal lawsuits. Whereas the plaintiff in a traditional lawsuit is required to show negligence on the part of the vaccine manufacturer, these special lawsuits are mostly negotiated settlements, with over 80 percent of cases fitting into this category. While the plaintiff is awarded financial compensation, the government is able to use language in the settlement stating that based on a review of the evidence, no conclusion was reached that the vaccine itself caused the injury.
Where Does the Money Come From?
To ensure there is a sufficient amount of money in the trust fund to help compensate SIRVA victims, a tax of 75 cents is imposed on each vaccine given to a patient. According to the latest figures, 6,000 victims have received compensation totaling almost $4 billion. However, while victims continue to be compensated, a problem is emerging. Since 2011, the Vaccine Court has seen its caseload increase, with more than five times as many cases as it had in 2011. In addition, with Congress having failed to appoint more judges to hear the cases, many victims now complain of long delays before their cases are heard. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports the earliest hearing dates for victims are not until 2020.
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You Only Have Three Years To File Your Claim
The first step in helping yourself or a loved one after a serious vaccine related injury is to contact us for a free review of your case.